Vikings backfield will play hard at Pro Bowl

Adrian Peterson vowed to play hard at the Pro Bowl before other players felt they might need to do the same to keep the game alive. Blocking for him will be Vikings teammate Jerome Felton, who is looking forward to his first Pro Bowl.

As players face the possibility of the NFL altering its approach to the Pro Bowl if more effort isn't given on the field, Vikings fans who might be tuning in won't have to worry about that from Adrian Peterson.

Even before the NFL let it be known that it was considering altering or shutting down the Pro Bowl after the 2014 version if the in-game effort of the players didn't improve, running back Adrian Peterson wasn't about to slow down.

"Yeah, it is hard for me to play down because when you play down, you put yourself in jeopardy of getting hurt going through the motions. So I won't be playing down," Peterson said after the Vikings were eliminated from the playoffs. "I'm going to play hard."

The NFL has received a lot of criticism for the lack of effort players had been giving in recent Pro Bowls, despite the monetary incentive on the line. Players on the winning team get $50,000; the losers get $25,000. Peterson said that isn't a primary incentive, but …

"It's a bonus. Guys look at that and say, ‘We get this win, we get 50 more racks so we can give it to our mom, our dad, our family or go buy a car,'" he said. "There's a lot you can do with 50."

Peterson's efforts in past Pro Bowls earned him the MVP of the 2008 game and he holds the career record with four rushing touchdowns.

Last year was the only time in Peterson's six-year career that he didn't make the Pro Bowl. His regular-season opportunities were cut short with ankle and knee injuries, ultimately ending with his Dec. 30 surgery to reconstruct his left knee.

This year, Peterson is joined in Hawaii by fullback Jerome Felton, who was elected to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career after his first season with the Vikings and blocking for Peterson.

"I've worked really hard and have been in some tough spots before this year. Just to have found a home here this year, I feel, and just to have been voted in the Pro Bowl by my peers, it means a lot to me," Felton said. "I'm just looking forward to the whole experience. I know a couple of the guys who are going to be up there. My family's going to enjoy it. I'm going to enjoy it. And I think it's going to be a good experience."

Felton and Peterson will be joined by Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, kicker Blair Walsh, linebacker Chad Greenway and tight end Kyle Rudolph. The last two were injury replacements on the NFC squad.

"It's a great honor and I'm humbled by it. To be voted in by my peers and the coaches means a lot to me personally," Felton said. "I'm not satisfied with it; I hope this is the first of many. That's the mindset that I'll take into this offseason."

"… It feels good. I was joking with my friends about it the other day. I always told them, ‘I think I'm the best fullback in this league.' And they would say, ‘You can't say that.' Now I've got a little more credibility. So it feels good, I'm excited about it and I'm really looking forward to it."

Even though it's becoming old hat, Peterson is looking forward to it, too, and no one expects him to take it easy, no matter if the NFL presses for better effort from others or not.

"Toward that third and fourth quarters, guys kind of pick it up. There's money on the line, so guys realize that and understand that," Peterson said. "It's fun for the fans, but you've still got to be smart. Me personally, I don't care how anyone else approaches, I'm going to play hard."


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.



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Peterson said that isn't a primary incentive, but … \"It's a bonus. Guys look at that and say, ‘We get this win, we get 50 more racks so we can give it to our mom, our dad, our family or go buy a car,'\" he said. \"There's a lot you can do with 50.\" Peterson's efforts in past Pro Bowls earned him the MVP of the 2008 game and he holds the career record with four rushing touchdowns. Last year was the only time in Peterson's six-year career that he didn't make the Pro Bowl. His regular-season opportunities were cut short with ankle and knee injuries, ultimately ending with his Dec. 30 surgery to reconstruct his left knee. This year, Peterson is joined in Hawaii by fullback Jerome Felton, who was elected to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career after his first season with the Vikings and blocking for Peterson. \"I've worked really hard and have been in some tough spots before this year. Just to have found a home here this year, I feel, and just to have been voted in the Pro Bowl by my peers, it means a lot to me,\" Felton said. \"I'm just looking forward to the whole experience. I know a couple of the guys who are going to be up there. My family's going to enjoy it. I'm going to enjoy it. And I think it's going to be a good experience.\" Felton and Peterson will be joined by Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, kicker Blair Walsh, linebacker Chad Greenway and tight end Kyle Rudolph. The last two were injury replacements on the NFC squad. \"It's a great honor and I'm humbled by it. To be voted in by my peers and the coaches means a lot to me personally,\" Felton said. \"I'm not satisfied with it; I hope this is the first of many. That's the mindset that I'll take into this offseason.\" \"… It feels good. I was joking with my friends about it the other day. I always told them, ‘I think I'm the best fullback in this league.' And they would say, ‘You can't say that.' 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